We like to look at what Yahweh offers us. We like to think of the Creator, always watching over us, blessing, protecting, providing for his children. God is good, all the time, and we worship him for it. But few of us give much thought to our end of the covenant with Yahweh. Oh, we know it has to do with love. Jesus told us the greatest commandment is to love Yahweh with our entire being, with all our passion, but what does love look like?
Is love just going to Church, worshiping, reading our Bible? Is love paying our tithes and helping out at the church? Is love taking part in leadership and serving the poor? Is this all there is to it? Do most of us even care enough to consider anything beyond the minimum? Isn't that the philosophy of life these days: Maximum input for minimum output?
Do you know that all Yahweh has ever required of his people is love. Jesus defined what that love looks like in a very simple sentence:
"Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching." (John 14:23)
And then Jesus stated the obvious so it is clear to us:
"Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching." (v. 24)
Obedience is the fruit of love. Throughout the Hebrew Scriptures we find Yahweh looking for the one person who would love him. A simple example is found with Jeroboam. King Solomon had turned from the Lord, disobeying him concerning his wives which eventually led him to worship false gods. So the Lord decided to rip the kingdom from him and give part of it to Jeroboam, and this is what he asked of Jeroboam:
Then it shall be, if you heed all that I command you, walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build for you an enduring house, as I built for David, and will give Israel to you. (1 Kings 11:38)
Understanding the language of Yahweh we know this to be him saying to Jeroboam, "Love me". It is our part of the covenant. But all of us would say that we love Jesus. All of us would say that we love Yahweh with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. But so many of us have no idea that this love is manifested in obedience. In fact, many of us claim love but don't even know what Yahweh has commanded. We don't know his statutes or even the principles of the Kingdom because we don't know the Word.
Our love has limits. Often it is limited to words and ideas but seldom to whole-hearted obedience. "Do what is right in my sight" is not what most of us are pursuing. In fact, in recent days we have seen great decisions in the Church based on what is right in man's sight and not Yahweh's, and yet we claim we love him. If we can understand this according to the Word then we will begin to recognize that there needs to be a great deal of repenting among Yahweh's people, among those who claim Jesus as Lord.
Can you say that obedience is at the top of your list every day? Does it occupy your mind and heart? Do you spend your day living the two greatest commandments, allowing them to define your action, because you love Jesus? It is great that we serve such a wonderful Creator but we have an obligation in this relationship; it is an obligation of love, manifested in obedience.